King Alfonso VI conquered the city from the Muslims in 1085, and Toledo became part of the Kingdom of Castile. The King promised to respect not only the Muslims and their property, but also allowed them the use of their language and the freedom to practice their religion. This maintained the stability of a large portion of the population. The Christians who had taken part in the conquest. and their religious orders, also became part of this plural society, and received houses and orchards in the city as rewards from the King.

In 1226, Fernando III and the Archbishop Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada decided to build the Cathedral, the only purely Gothic building from this period. In the 14th century, due to the economic and social crisis at the time, the atmosphere of religious tolerance which characterised Toledo in previous centuries progressively disappeared, especially affecting the Jewish community, which was accused of being the cause of all problems.

In the 15th century, the "Catholic Monarchs", Ferdinand and Isabel, who sought the politicial and religious unity of the Kingdom, established the Tribunal of the Inquisition in Toledo in 1485, and decreed the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. These decisions deeply affected the social structure of Toledo.

With the crowning of Charles V (also know as Charles I) in 1519, Toledo became the most important city in the world, known as the Imperial Capital. This period, although short, brought to Toledo an era of splendour in which the Renaissance was manifested in important works carried out under royal patronage, together with that of the archbishops of Toledo, who were great promoters and sponsors of buildings.

In 1561, Philip II decided to move the court to Madrid, initiating a period of political decline, but fortunately it had no effect on religious, artistic or cultural aspects. It was right at this time when Domenico Theotocopoulos, El Greco, the extraordinary painter born in Crete, decided to settle in the city and paint the majority of his universally acclaimed works of art.

Continue to the Present Period

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